Bowling or Tenpin


Bowling has been around for many years now, and over the years, there have been many variations, like those we discuss here.

Bowling vs. Tenpin

In bowling, you have to roll a bowling ball down an alley and knock down the formation of pins at the end of the alley. This differs according to the type you play. For example, 5-pin and 9-pin bowling have 5 and 9 pins, respectively. A tenpin is a form of bowling with ten pins, set in a triangular shape, as a target.

Main Difference

The main difference between bowling and tenpin is in the weight and design of bowling balls and the total number of pins that are the target. Looking at the history, the place of origin of these games is different as well. The difference also lies in the number of frames and the number of turns in each frame. In ten-pin bowling, there are ten frames. Meanwhile, in the case of bowling, the number of frames and turns depends on the kind of bowling.

Candlepin Bowling (Candlepin)

Candlepin bowling is a popular sport in New England. Going back in time, one can find that this type of bowling was invented in Massachusetts around 1880. This game consists of thin pins and candlepin bowling balls that are small, with a 4.5” diameter. The ball usually weighs two pounds and seven ounces.

Candlepin Bowling

Don’t be fooled by the shape of these pins. Arranged in a triangular shape, these 10 candlepins are a challenge to tip over. There are a total of ten frames, and there are three turns in each frame.

Ten-pin Bowling

Ten-pin bowling is also known as simple bowling to Americans. In 1895, the official rules for this game were drafted by the American Bowling Congress. However, some versions of this game even date back to the Civil War.

The ten-pin bowling ball has three finger holes, and it weighs between six and 16 pounds. Moreover, the pins of this game can be made out of wood or plastic, and the weight of each pin ranges between three pounds six ounces and three pounds and ten ounces. With a total of ten pins, each pin is 15 inches tall and 4.7 inches wide. The number of frames in each game is ten, and each frame has two turns.

9-Pin Bowling (Kegel)

A bit different from ten-pin bowling, in 9-pin bowling, the next player gets to pick up from where the first player left. And, of course, there are nine pins instead of ten.

Until the 20th century, this game was one of the most popular ones in the USA. It had a cult-like following in central Texas and was noticeably popular in Europe as well. The 9-pin bowling ball has three finger holes, and it weighs the same as a ten-pin bowling ball.

In contrast to other bowling games, the nine pins in this game are arranged manually in a diamond shape. And the red pin is placed in the middle. There are six frames in this game, with two turns in each frame, even if players manage to knock all pins on the first go.

5 pin bowling

5-pin Bowling

This game is popular in Canada, and its setting is a bit different from the rest. The five pins are arranged in a V shape, and each pin has different points. The bowling ball for this game is small enough to fit in a hand. The 5-pins are smaller when compared to 10-pins, but they are larger than duck-pins. In the middle of each pin, you will see a rubber hand, which makes these pins fly harder, increasing the possibility of knocking down other pins.

In total, there are ten frames in this game. The number of turns in each frame is three. This game is more about just force. One has to play it strategically.

Duckpin Bowling

Popular in the United States, duckling bawling has similarities with ten-pin and candlepin bowling. In this game, the pins are shorter and a bit stout, much like ten-pin bowling pins, but they are lighter, making it easier for players to knock them.

Duckpin bowling balls don’t have finger holes, and they weigh around 3.75 pounds (1.7 kg). With a total of ten frames in one game, the players get to take three turns in each frame.

Duckpins bowling

Closing Thoughts

We have shared five types of bowling with you, and each one is different from the other. From candlepin bowling to 5-pin bowling, duckpin bowling, and many more, choose any you like and have fun playing with your friends or family. Each one has different rules, but there is some common ground as well.

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